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  • Saudi-Iran crisis latest reality check for Iran deal backers

    January 8, 2016 | 1:04 pm

    Just months after the conclusion of a nuclear deal with Iran that the Obama administration hoped would help defuse a volatile region, the Middle East seems ready to spiral out of control.

    Protests have erupted across the region this week in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s execution of...

  • Trump sets economic conditions for siding with Saudi Arabia over Iran

    January 6, 2016 | 1:19 pm

    Republican presidential Donald Trump on Monday suggested that the U.S. should defend Saudi Arabia in its escalating dispute with Iran only if the Saudis pay us back economically.

    In an appearance on Fox News Monday evening, Trump told host Bill O’Reilly that in order to stop...

  • Saudi Arabia vs. Iran

    January 6, 2016 | 12:22 pm

    This article originally appeared on The Media Line.

    Turkey should avoid picking sides in the current diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and Iran, according to experts.

    “I hope that Turkey doesn’t feel that it needs to rush in and take sides in this issue. It’s not in the...

  • Saudi Arabia recruits Sunni allies in row with Iran

    January 4, 2016 | 11:21 am

    Saudi Arabia rallied Sunni allies to its side in a growing diplomatic row withIran on Monday, deepening a sectarian split across the Middle East following the kingdom's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.

    Bahrain and Sudan cut all ties with Iran, following Riyadh's example...

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  • Why the Saudis are just like Trump

    December 14, 2015 | 11:08 am

    The online bickering between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his fellow billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal over Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigration is seeped with irony: For decades, Saudi Arabia has had a near-total ban on granting visas to...

  • Though they still can’t drive, Saudi women running in local elections

    November 12, 2015 | 9:19 am

    This article first appeared on The Media Line.

    For the first time in Saudi Arabia’s history, more than 1000 women will compete in municipal elections next month. It is the first time that women will run for election in the desert kingdom, and activists hope it signifies a change...

  • End of the Houthis?

    October 21, 2015 | 9:32 am

    This artice first appeared on The Media Line.

    Thirteen months ago the Iranian-backed Houthi stormed into Sana’a taking control over large swathes of Yemen in the process. Attempts between the group and the incumbent President Abd Rabu Mansur Hadi to cooperate eventually collapsed...

  • Iran troops to join Syria war, Russia bombs group trained by CIA

    October 1, 2015 | 1:15 pm

    Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground offensive in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government, Lebanese sources said on Thursday, a sign the civil war is turning still more regional and global in scope.

    Russian warplanes, in a second day...

  • Germany, Iran pledge to revive economic ties after long freeze

    July 20, 2015 | 11:40 am

    Germany and Iran moved tentatively on Monday toward reviving a once close trade relationship, anticipating the lifting of Western economic sanctions against Tehran following a landmark nuclear deal.

    Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, making the first top level German government...

  • Iran’s nuclear deal puts Saudis on edge

    July 14, 2015 | 2:52 pm

    Iran's nuclear deal with world powers on Tuesday will make the Middle East a "more dangerous part of the world" if it comes with too many concessions, a Saudi official told Reuters, signaling Gulf Arabs' deep unease over the accord.

    The Saudis and their Gulf allies fear that the...

  • Israeli, Saudi former officials have met to discuss Iran strategy

    June 5, 2015 | 2:19 pm

    Former officials of the Israeli and Saudi governments have held five meetings over the last year and a half to discuss Iran strategy.

    The meetings were confirmed Thursday at a press conference in Washington at the Council on Foreign Relations. Speaking were participants Anwar...

  • Saudis view Iran as greater enemy than Israel

    June 4, 2015 | 1:22 pm

    Saudis dislike Iran more than they dislike Israel.

    A poll released Thursday by the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya’s Institute for Policy and Strategy found that 53 percent of Saudis named Iran as their country’s main enemy, 22 percent named the Islamic State, or ISIS, and...

  • No cuts in oil production expected

    June 4, 2015 | 10:32 am

    This article originally appeared on The Media Line.

    When the OPEC oil producing countries meet this week in Vienna, they are not expected to back away from their risky strategy of keeping oil production high despite low prices. Oil prices have stabilized at just over $65 a...

  • World’s tallest skyscraper under construction in Saudi Arabia

    May 13, 2015 | 9:16 am

    This story originally appeared on The Media Line.

    Imagine the size of a football field. Now imagine the length of 11 football fields all lined up end zone to end zone. Pretend, instead of those 11 fields laying horizontally across the ground, that they are vertical, reaching the...

  • Middle East prepares for Iran nuclear deal

    April 7, 2015 | 10:24 am

    This story originally appeared at The Media Line.

    The signing of the framework agreement to end Iran’s nuclear program is having repercussions throughout the Middle East. In Israel, itself a nuclear power, there is deep skepticism that Iran will comply with the terms of the...

  • Hamas maneuvers among regional powers

    April 6, 2015 | 11:20 am

    This story originally appeared at The Media Line.

    Hamas is attempting to maneuver between rival regional powers, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Hamas is siding with Iran against the US on negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, but with Saudi Arabia against Iran on the Shi’ite Houthi...

  • Hezbollah sees Yemen strikes causing more Mideast tension

    March 26, 2015 | 8:30 am

    Hezbollah condemned as "unjust aggression" Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen on Thursday and said it takes the region towards increased tension.

    The Shi'ite group, which is backed by Iran, also called on Saudi Arabia and its allies to immediately and unconditionally halt the...

  • New Saudi king seeks to reassure on succession and policy

    January 23, 2015 | 10:08 am

    Saudi Arabia's new King Salman pledged continuity in energy and foreign policies on Friday and moved quickly to appoint younger men as his heirs, settling the succession for years to come by naming a deputy crown prince from his dynasty's next generation.

    King Abdullah, who died...

  • Saudi King Abdullah dies, new ruler is Salman

    January 22, 2015 | 3:32 pm

    Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died, state television reported early on Friday and his brother Salman became king, it said in a statement attributed to Salman.

    King Salman has called on the family's Allegiance Council to pay allegiance to Muqrin as his crown prince and heir. 

    ...
  • As L.A.’s Muslims condemn French attacks, a gap on what’s to blame

    By Jared Sichel

    January 22, 2015 | 2:04 pm

    Following the recent terror attacks in Paris by Islamic extremists that left 17 dead and 22 wounded at a satirical magazine and kosher market, the debate within the local Muslim community over what to blame and even how to label the ideology behind the attacks has only intensified....

  • Obama prepared to authorize air strikes in Syria against Islamic State

    September 10, 2014 | 3:59 pm

    President Barack Obama, who will set out a broad long-term strategy to defeat the Islamic State in a speech to Americans on Wednesday evening, is prepared to authorize air strikes against the group in Syria, U.S. officials said.

    Pursuing the Islamist radicals inside Syria would...

  • Facing Islamist threats, Arab nations tilt toward Israel

    August 28, 2014 | 11:04 am

    Between the war in Gaza and gains by Islamic militants in Iraq, Syria and Libya, there’s plenty of cause these days for pessimism about the Middle East.

    But amid all the fighting, there’s also some good news for Israel.

    If it wasn’t obvious before, the conflagrations have...

  • Arab rifts may complicate search for Gaza truce

    July 21, 2014 | 2:31 pm

    The push for a Gaza ceasefire risks becoming mired in a regional tussle for influence between conservative Arab states and Islamist-friendly governments, with rival powers competing to take credit for a truce, analysts and some officials say.

    The main protagonists are Arab...

  • Why is Greece the most anti-Semitic country in Europe?

    May 20, 2014 | 10:21 am

    When the Anti-Defamation League published its global anti-Semitism survey last week, Greece, the cradle of democracy, captured the ignominious title of most anti-Semitic country in Europe.

    With 69 percent of Greeks espousing anti-Semitic views, according to the survey, Greece was...

  • Israeli UN ambassador sees opportunities

    By Jared Sichel

    December 12, 2013 | 11:09 am

    For Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, the Iranian nuclear threat is real, the hostility coming from the United Nations is enduring, and Palestinian calls for two states are disingenuous.

    Yet, he said at a Dec. 11 breakfast hosted by the Jewish National Fund...

  • Kerry: No imposed U.S. plan

    November 5, 2013 | 3:16 pm

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry denied reports that he is ready to impose a U.S. peace plan on Israelis and Palestinians.

    “Let me categorically dispel any notion that there is anything other than the track that is formally engaged in between Israel and the Palestinians,” Kerry...

  • Is a common fear of Iran driving Israel and Saudi Arabia together?

    October 21, 2013 | 12:52 pm

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping the enemy of one’s enemy truly does become a friend.

    In recent years, Netanyahu has said the enmity for Iran shared by Israel and the Arab states could become a spur to regional reconciliation. Last week, in a speech to...

  • Hezbollah denies receiving chemical weapons from Syria

    September 23, 2013 | 4:32 pm

    Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah denied on Monday that his group had received chemical weapons from Syria.

    Last month, members of the Syrian National Coalition opposition group accused President Bashar Assad of transferring chemical weapons to the Lebanese Shi'ite group...

  • Kerry urges Israel to ‘look hard’ at Arab peace initiative

    July 17, 2013 | 8:28 am

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Israel on Thursday to consider carefully a 2002 Arab League peace initiative that it rejected in the past.

    "Israel needs to look hard at this initiative, which promises Israel peace with 22 Arab nations and 35 Muslim nations - a total of...

  • New dangers accompany US passports as Egypt erupts

    July 10, 2013 | 9:58 am

    This story originally appeard on themedialine.org.

    When Brian Dennison was considering where to study Arabic abroad, the 23-year old’s choices were limited.  Yemen?  It has an Al-Qa’ida affiliate that feasts on foreigners.  Syria?  It is enmeshed in a civil war where dodging...

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